A CAS-CSIRO joint project “Extreme Droughts and Floods in Changing Climate-A New Normal & Adaptation Pathways for an Integrated Lancang-Mekong River Basin”(GJHZ1729) kick-off meeting was held on 5-8 April 2017 at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). CAS-CSIRO project coordinator Prof. LIN Zhaohui from ICCES/IAP, CSIRO adaptation specialist Prof. WANG Xiaoming, IAP Scientific Planning Division Director ZHANG Lu were invited to the meeting. Project Chinese PI Prof. XIAO Ziniu from LASG / IAP, project Australian PI Dr. Minh Nguyen and major Chinese team members attended the meeting.
Prof. XIAO Ziniu chaired the opening ceremony on 5 April, ZHANG Lu and Prof. LIN Zhaohui delivered opening address. ZHANG Lu extended warm welcome to the Australian experts and expressed support for the project on behalf of the management. Prof. LIN Zhaohui congratulated on the inception of the project and rested high hopes for the integration within the project and its collaboration with other ongoing CAS-CSIRO projects in IAP. Prof. XIAO Ziniu and Dr. Minh Nguyen respectively gave presentation centering on project overview, objectives, research background and initial plans from each side. Participants then had in-depth discussion about key research questions, implementation details, technical coupling, data interface and outcome integration. All agreed that the project is highly innovative and competitive. The Chinese subprojects should focus on exploring the drivers and mechanism for high-impact extreme weather and climate events over Lancang-Mekong River Basin and providing diagnosis indicators. Base on this, the Australian team should provide clear assessment of the disaster damage response of drought and sensitive industries in the pilot areas, and proceed to put forward corresponding flood and drought risk management solutions and adaptation strategies. Moreover, both sides should attach importance to producing demonstrative research highlights that cater for government and society needs.
In the following two days, Prof. WANG Xiaoming and Dr. Minh Nguyen were invited to visit LASG and ICCES and gave talks. Dr. Minh Nguyen’s presentation introduced the concept of “academic to impact drive research”, the climate adaptation research case studies CISRO carried out in different industries and its prospects. Prof. WANG elaborated the project implementation technical details, emphasizing the importance of investigating pilot case study sites.
The panel discussion was fruitful. Experts reached consensus that revealing the "new normal" of extremes drought and flood events evolution in the Lancang-Mekong River Basin and investigating pilot case study sites should be the primary tasks in the first phase of the project. Timelines, members assignments, data sharing and exchange visit plans were also worked out.
This project is a timely response to the Lancang-Mekong River Cooperation initiated by the Chinese Government in 2016. The success of the kick-off meeting set good ground for the project implementation.